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Leveraging The Power Of Traditional And Social Media Final

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An overview of traditional and social media. What they offer and what their drawbacks are.

An overview of traditional and social media. What they offer and what their drawbacks are.


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  • 1. Vocus Whitepaper Leveraging the Power of Traditional Media to Achieve Maximum PR Results Leveraging the Power of Traditional Media to Achieve Maximum PR Results
  • 2. Vocus Whitepaper Leveraging the Power of Traditional Media to Achieve Maximum PR Results Leveraging the Power of Traditional Media to Achieve Maximum PR Results With the turmoil facing the traditional media landscape and the growing buzz surrounding social media, you might be wondering where traditional media fits into your PR strategy and if it provides any real value to your PR campaigns. The short answer is: yes, traditional media is still quite relevant. The longer answer is: both traditional and social media should play important roles in your PR strategy as they are all important spokes in the wheel that makes up your PR strategy. Social media represents one distinctive spoke of that wheel while traditional media represents many other spokes such as newspapers, trade publications, broadcast, magazines and more. Both types of channels possess unique advantages and allow you to connect and engage with your audiences in different ways. Social media’s primary appeal is its authentic, instantaneous, user-generated content and capacity for reaching one person or many people. It’s also quite helpful in enabling your content to spread throughout the Internet reaching a much wider audience than you would have reached in the past. That said, traditional media outlets provide a unique level of editorial credibility and integrity that many organizations value as it provides an objective perspective of their news or cause. So, what role should traditional media play in your strategy? How do you leverage the power of both traditional and social media to reach your audiences, generate buzz and meet your PR goals? This paper will help define the role that each medium should play in your overall program and will show the benefits of effectively using both traditional and social media to drive your PR campaigns even further, engage with your targeted audiences and create a real buzz around your messages. Traditional and Social Media Have Unique Strengths When building your PR strategy, you must first recognize the strengths of social and traditional media in order to map out an effective plan for success. For instance, social media can elicit an almost instant reaction from messages sent to its audience. A blog post can ignite conversations like a match to gasoline. Its ability to allow just about anyone to take part in conversations removes barriers that existed in the past. But where do bloggers and online news sources get their fuel that draws others into those heated online debates? Traditional media. Social media is often fed (and led) by traditional media – a story on the six o’clock news, an editorial in the Washington Post or New York Times or even an interview on a late night talk show – can easily become the topic on Twitter or thread on Facebook. Bloggers regularly pick up on tidbits they glean from traditional media, because they know that editorial filters have made sure the information is accurate. Some podcasters shamelessly read articles verbatim from print pieces. A recent study conducted by MS&L Communications and released in December, 2008 showed that more than 84% of respondents go online to find out more after reading an item in a magazine or newspaper, and the same number do so after hearing something interesting on TV or the radio. Therefore, don’t just think digitally when trying to reach key influencers because the news people are reading, hearing or seeing in traditional media outlets, contributes greatly to what is being discussed online and in the blogosphere. 2
  • 3. Vocus Whitepaper Leveraging the Power of Traditional Media to Achieve Maximum PR Results Traditional media is still the place to be when it comes to PR. Nothing screams credibility like having something in print about your organization. After all, journalists are held to a different set of standards, which further substantiates a nicely written article about your organization. Also, being quoted in traditional media outlets helps to brand your CEO or spokesperson as an industry thought leader. Five Reasons You Should Care About Traditional Media It’s no secret that the newspaper industry has taken some hits, causing some PR folks to pursue social media with fervor. However, there are still plenty of opportunities and benefits to working with traditional media. Here are five reasons why you can’t ignore traditional media: 1. Credibility. PR professionals still pursue placement in major pubs and on networks across the country because of the traditional media’s third party objectivity and authority. 2. Reach. A pickup by a major traditional news outlet could mean your message is read or seen by millions of people – not a small number. And now that traditional media outlets are using social media to promote their stories, it guarantees even more mileage of your messages. 3. Fuel for social media. Bloggers often rely on traditional media to supply topics for their blogs. Those in the social media community understand the journalistic responsibility and integrity that reporters are held to and depend on news from traditional outlets to be factual. A good placement in a major newspaper easily finds its way to Twitter, where it is amplified over and over again with every “ReTweet.” 4. They need you. With newspapers cutting staff, they don’t have the time to do a lot of the leg work they once did. They’re less likely to agree to a story idea that may take a lot of their time. Therefore, the more prepared your pitch is – useful links, photos, video, great quotes – the greater the likelihood the journalist will work with you. 5. Opportunities. With a lot of PR professionals focusing on bloggers and social media, traditional news outlets are often in scramble mode to find a great news story. Use this to your advantage. Put together your well-crafted pitch and work with traditional media. Leveraging the Power of Traditional and Social Media in your PR Program Some PR professionals are making the mistake of feeling pressure to choose between using traditional media and social media to meet their PR goals. It’s not a matter of choosing one over the other, more importantly; it’s about using the most effective medium to reach your audience and motivate them to act – to donate money, to vote, to subscribe or to volunteer. The Obama administration recognized the potential marriage between traditional and social media and effectively used that media matrimony to reach its audience of young and older Americans. “There is an overlap, but there are two separate audiences when you reach out,” explained Jim Lake, president of Gibraltar Associates and former staffer in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, in a recent interview in PRWeek 1 . “You have the younger generations that are really into [new media] that he addresses very effectively, and the other that is still looking at traditional media. So a combination of both is working out for him [Obama].” 1 “White House’s Social Media Push Still Leaves Room for Traditional Media,” PRWeek, May 24, 2009. 3
  • 4. Vocus Whitepaper Leveraging the Power of Traditional Media to Achieve Maximum PR Results The key is understanding your audience. What are they reading? Are they active in social media or are they regular subscribers to a trade pub that provides insight into their industry? For organizations that are trying to reach an audience that may not include social media users, traditional media remains a viable tactic in reaching them. But more often than not, organizations stand to gain far more awareness by using both traditional and social media to connect with audiences. Keys to Working with Traditional and Social Media Be mindful that using traditional and social media to reach your PR goals still employs foundational PR principles. • Build relationships. Take some time to get to know the media and what topics they find interesting. Have you recently read an interesting article about a new development in your industry? Share that information with your favorite blogger or journalist. Don’t just reach out when you’re trying to pitch to them. Building a relationship will help open up a friendly dialogue with reporters and may not only increase your chances of future coverage the next time you call, but can even cause the media to check in with you, instead. • Do your homework. While you know to look for reporters that cover your industry or the subject of your news, in many cases you need to dig deeper. Using technology solutions such as Vocus PR software can give you valuable insight into what a particular journalist covers, their contact information, their pitching preferences, and more importantly, past news stories or blogs they’ve written so you can get a real sense for their coverage. This strengthens your outreach by providing better targeting and recognizing the appropriate channel with which to reach out to journalists. • Respect their time. With staff cutbacks, some reporters are being tasked with doing more on their jobs – just as you are. Keep your pitches brief, succinct and to the point. Don’t use a phone conversation to give all the details. The more information you provide by way of links, video, photos and other helpful information goes a long way in gaining the respect and attention from reporters. • Understand your audience. Where does your key audience get their news? Are they reading traditional media? If you are trying to reach a younger demographic or perform PR for a technology or consumer-focused company, it could make sense to use social media to deliver your messages to your audience. But at the same time, don’t completely discount the advantages of traditional media because you may find they can be integral in furthering your message. • Have a conversation. Social media provides the perfect opportunity to engage with the media as many journalists use social media tools like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to engage with the public. Keep in mind that your messages to journalists, even on social networking sites, should be relevant and have substance. Preference also matters: some reporters still prefer e-mail and ask to not be pitched on social networks. Leverage Technology to Make the Most of Both Traditional and Social Media With the emergence of social media, the role that the public relations professional plays within an organization is expanding. This means that now more than ever, you need the tools that will empower you to perform your job more efficiently. 4
  • 5. Vocus Whitepaper Leveraging the Power of Traditional Media to Achieve Maximum PR Results Rather than opting for one tool to assist you in performing solitary aspects of your job, such as one tool to manage your media lists, another that helps with project management and yet another for distributing communication between key influencers, PR professionals should embrace technology that allows them to manage the various tasks of their jobs from one accessible software platform. Leveraging a PR management system such as Vocus is a great way for you to get more specific information on your target media without spending hours searching all channels to gather the detail. Some of the industry’s leading media databases have dedicated research teams that track and update the information as it happens, providing you up-to-the minute information on your specific targets. Rather than scouring the Internet and other sources to find out about the latest changes, your database does the work. In some cases, the database will also automatically update your saved media lists within the system with changes, to ensure you are always up-to-date for your outreach. Having technology that makes you more efficient will inevitably lead to more time spent developing successful PR strategies that can bring real results. Monitoring and Measuring Traditional and Social Media Though social media monitoring is a hot topic right now, you can’t forgo your monitoring of traditional media. You may already use a clipping service to monitor your traditional media outreach; however, the traditional media outlets have also added blogging and social media to their news platforms as well. Remember, many reporters now blog and use social media to push their news even further. It’s important to be comprehensive in your monitoring strategy. Merely monitoring media “clips” about your company will not provide the best assessment that you need to create an impactful PR strategy. Monitoring news on your competitors, key industry trends and thought leaders will help get a leg up on important developments in your industry. The challenge now becomes managing the monitoring of both your traditional and social media campaigns and outreach. There are a variety of media monitoring tools that can provide the traditional media results and not the social media results – and vice versa. That’s why Leverage technology to monitor it’s important to choose a PR management news and measure results in all solution, such as Vocus, that will monitor results media channels. across all mediums. Along with media monitoring, keep in mind that measuring both traditional and social media outreach is important to gauging success and providing feedback of what is working in your PR program. You may already have a tool that provides measurement results of one aspect of your PR outreach, but as technology expands, many PR professionals are learning that having one solution that can provide the measuring of all of their traditional and social media efforts is the most effective way of managing their PR programs. 5
  • 6. Vocus Whitepaper Leveraging the Power of Traditional Media to Achieve Maximum PR Results Ultimately, every company has different criteria for success and it’s critical to find a solution that is flexible enough to provide an array of measurement options so you can ultimately select what is important to your organization. Conclusion Social media comes with its advantages: easy accessibility, ability to engage with others one- on-one and reaching larger audiences -- to name a few. But it is still a relatively new medium and continues to evolve. Traditional media’s credibility and authority resonates with organizations who still want to see coverage from these kinds of media outlets. It also requires its journalists to adhere to some level of professional integrity and requires fact-checking of its data to ensure accuracy. When used together, traditional and social media can fill the gaps where the other falls short and help you build a strong PR program that returns results! About Vocus Vocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: VOCS) is a leading provider of on-demand software for public relations management. Our web-based software suite helps organizations of all sizes to fundamentally change the way they communicate with both the media and the public, optimizing their public relations and increasing their ability to measure its impact. Our on-demand software addresses the critical functions of public relations including media relations, news distribution and news monitoring. We deliver our solutions over the Internet using a secure, scalable application and system architecture, which allows our customers to eliminate expensive up- front hardware and software costs and to quickly deploy and adopt our on-demand software. Vocus is used by more than 3,700 organizations worldwide and is available in seven languages. Vocus is based in Lanham, MD with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information please visit http://www.vocus.com or call 800.345.5572. 6